Ben Kendim. A Record of Eastern Travel … Edited by Desmond MacCarthy

HERBERT, Aubrey. Ben Kendim. A Record of Eastern Travel … Edited by Desmond MacCarthy.

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HERBERT, Aubrey. Ben Kendim. A Record of Eastern Travel … Edited by Desmond MacCarthy. London, Hutchinson, 1924.

8vo. Original blue cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, illustrated dust-wrappers; pp. xv, 380, 6 maps; light discolouration to cloth, wrappers with a few very minor flaws, a little offsetting from endpapers, otherwise a very good copy in the rarely seen wrappers, inscribed by the author's son on front fly-leaf.
Rare first edition, published the year a after the author's death of accounts of travels in Syria, Turkey, Persia, Jemen and on the Balkans during the war, written by the son of the 4th Earl of Carnavon, friend of T. E. Lawrence and father-in law of Evelyn Waugh. He was an intelligence officer associated with Albanian independence and subsequently was offered the throne of Albania. 'Membership of the House of Commons did not interrupt Herbert's extensive travelling in the Middle East. Throughout 1911 his attention was focused almost exclusively on the Balkans, to which he travelled frequently, having many friends among remote inland brigands as well as among the cream of Kemal Atatürk's reformist movement in Constantinople. His tireless work for the cause of Albanian nationalism was rewarded in 1913 with the first of two enquiries on the point of whether he would be prepared to accept the throne of Albania, if it was formally offered to him. On this occasion Herbert was quite keen to accept, but H. H. Asquith (a close family friend) was not encouraging and Sir Edward Grey, the foreign secretary, was against any British involvement in the Balkan tangle. The prize this time went to Prince William of Wied, representing the Austrian faction. He did not last six months. Herbert was largely responsible for the creation of the modern, independent state of Albania after the First World War, championing the rights of the Albanians against the other Balkan states' (ODNB). Early during the First World War 'after being wounded and briefly taken prisoner during the retreat from Mons, he joined the intelligence bureau in Cairo, later known as the Arab bureau, in December 1914 with T. E. Lawrence, who became a close friend and ally … He spent the rest of the war in intelligence work in Mesopotamia, Salonika, and Italy.' (ODNB).

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